Clare Willcocks

Clare Willcocks: November 2013

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Beautiful walk at Westward Ho!

On Thursday we moved house (thanks to Mum and Dad for all their help)! Today was the first day that we've had a chance to relax and enjoy our new home.

Having moved from a fully furnished house to a completely empty one we've spent the last three days rounding up a whole host of furniture and appliances. We're still lacking a fridge freezer though, (arguably the most important thing!) which means our food is currently cooling outside the back door. Good job it's winter!

There are distinct disadvantages to our doorstep larder, however. Some cheeky little critter decided that a big block of cheddar cheese would make a lovely midnight feast. We went outside this morning to find only half of it remaining!

We woke up to glorious sunshine so we took the opportunity to go for a walk at Westward Ho!.

If you, like me, are intrigued as to why Westward Ho! has an exclamation mark, I looked it up and apparently the village was named after the bestselling novel by Charles Kingsley as a sort of publicity stunt (thank you Wikipedia!).

Here are a few of my snaps from today.

sand dunes Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! beach

Northam Burrows, Westward Ho!

Northam Burrows, Westward Ho!

Northam Burrows, Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! beach

Westward Ho! Beach

reflections in a puddle

ripples in the sand

pebbles and sand ripples

pebbles at Westward Ho!

estuary at Westward Ho!

And just to prove we were actually there....
photos from Westward Ho!
This afternoon I made a heart to match the vintage style shabby chic chairs I renovated a while ago. The edge is crocheted in white cotton thread.

shabby chic heart decoration

shabby chic heart ornament

I'm sharing this post at the following link parties: Be Different Act Normal, Sunny Simple Life, Tatertots and Jello, Thirty Handmade Days and Shabby Nest.

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Friday, 22 November 2013

'Pinspiration' - pen and ink drawings in ballpoint pen

Pinterest is one of my favourite ways to find new inspiration. When 'artist's block' strikes and you want to create something but don't know what, just a little browse through Pinterest will have you bursting with ideas and suddenly not enough time to try everything you want. I often look for craft inspiration, but it's also a great place to get painting and drawing ideas and tips.

I found the artist Andrea Joseph who draws incredible illustrations using just the humble ballpoint pen. Her Flickr page is a feast for the eyes, keep scrolling down to see examples of her biro work. I've done biro sketches before but seeing her work motivated me to pick up a trusty Bic again and get drawing.

Andrea incorporates little snippets of writing into her drawings, sometimes including tips for artists. One suggested trying to sketch yourself drawing in an imaginary room. This is what I came up with.

Biro pen drawing

The sofa and me are the only 'things' which are real, the rest is from my imagination. (Not particularly imaginative, as you can see!)

I keep noticing (on Pinterest, where else!?) drawings on coloured paper which I've been meaning to try myself. It seems to give the picture more depth and warmth than if it were done on a plain white background.

This is the chest of drawers in our bedroom. As it's getting pretty chilly here now, every potential indoor hanging space has to be utilised! I didn't finish it, but I quite like the unfinished look.

ballpoint pen drawing

On to a drawing I did finish. Last weekend we went to Bude in north Cornwall. It was freezing cold and overcast but I managed to brave it for an hour or so to do this sketch of this...winch thing...while Sam was surfing.

biro drawing

While I was drawing a man came to touch up the paint on his boat which I was sitting right next to. We got chatting and it turns out he's an artist and has a gallery in Bude! I checked out his website when I got home and he does lovely watercolour paintings of the coast and surf.

Bude, Cornwall

Bude, Cornwall

I've got a few unfinished projects on the go, which will probably remain in a state of half-doneness for a while because...drumroll please...we're moving house to North Devon next week! Bring on some more lovely scenery to draw and paint!

In other news, I have a shiny new cover picture for my Facebook page!
 Facebook cover photo
 Today I'm linking up to the following blogs: Cornerstone Confessions, Manon Popje's Illustrations and Thirty Handmade Days.

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Monday, 18 November 2013

Enjoying the sunny weather on Teignmouth seafront, Devon

Last Sunday was a beautiful, crisp day so we went for a walk along the seafront at Teignmouth in south Devon. Despite the chilly temperature, the sea was really blue, although you still wouldn't have got me in there!

Teignmouth seafront, Devon

It was high tide so we stopped to watch the waves crashing on the slipway. Every few minutes there was a big one which I tried to capture on camera - easier said than done!

Teignmouth pier in south Devon

I took a photo of these rusty poles because I thought they'd be interesting to draw, perhaps on brown paper. It's so much more interesting to sketch something with a bit of texture!

Teignmouth seafront in south Devon

How to draw water continued...

Staying with the watery theme, I finished this pencil drawing of water that I wrote about in my last blog post: How to draw water. I used a 2B and B pencil for the shading and sharpened it up at the end with a slightly harder one.

Realistic black and white pencil drawing of water

I'm extremely pleased with the way it's turned out. Not sure I'll be doing another one any time soon though as for such a small drawing it took a very long time to complete!

Realistic black and white pencil drawing of water

I'll be back soon with some drawings inspired by an artist I found on Pinterest (inspiration Mecca!). If you'd like to see them, follow my blog :)

Also, a little plea to those who use Facebook! My art page is currently on 92 likes so it would be great if you could like and share to push me over the 100 mark! Thank you :D

Today I'm sharing this post on the following lovely blogs: Handmade Harbour, Blue Chair Diary Illustrations, Lamb Around, Cornerstone Confessions and Manon Popje's Illustrations.

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Thursday, 7 November 2013

How to draw water

How do you draw water? It's a question which has puzzled me for a while. Water has always been the one art subject which has intrigued and defeated me.

Unlike a still life or a portrait of a person, water is forever moving and changing. The surface is broken as it's caught by the wind, the light plays on the ripples in different ways. So how to draw it?

Examining the Reflections

Let's take this water ripples photo by Roy Pieket.

Have a good look at the shapes and patterns created by the light on the water. It may look like the photograph contains just two tones, light and dark, but it is the mid-tones which are important in producing a realistic drawing.

However, translating these patterns and tones onto paper is easier said than done.

Look at these two paintings I did in the summer, for example. I'm not happy with the water. It looks flat and static, mainly because I was too scared to 'spoil' the picture by trying to paint some life into it!

Detailed Pencil Study

I've decided that before I tackle water again as part of a complete scene, I need to do a few detailed studies.

After trawling Flickr for a water photograph I found this one. It seems a good idea to start with a black and white drawing so as not to complicate things with colour. Don't want to be getting ahead of myself!
Black Blood - Nydia Lilian

I am determined that the drawing is going to be as accurate as I can possibly make it, inspired by the hyperrealist artists from my post last week. By overlaying a grid on the photo I can concentrate on each little square individually.

I am going against my own advice with this one, which was to 'think big' when attempting hyperrealism. My excuse is that I'm sure I would get bored of drawing little patches of light and shade if I tried it on a big scale. So it's small. Very small.

This is what I've done so far. Drawing square by square is quite addictive. I find myself thinking "I'll stop after this square", then getting carried away and doing another three!
water pencil drawing
Sam's not convinced about it at the moment. He reckons it looks like 'nothing'. Always the critic! I've assured him that it's going to look amazing when it's done.

Nothing like a bit of a challenge to motivate me to finish!

PS. Sorry about the grainy photos, blame the lack of sunlight :(

I'm sharing this post over at Manon Popje's Illustrations

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